Executive to present first-ever foreign policy paper in House

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi addresses Senate Liaison committee forum in Eldoret Uasin Gishu County where he was the chief guest on June 4, 2024. [Peter Ochieng Standard]

The Executive is set to present Kenya’s first sessional paper on foreign policy to Parliament for approval, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has said.

Mudavadi assured senators that the sessional paper would unlock the country’s diplomatic issues. 

On Tuesday, he told the Senate Liaison Committee, which consists of all chairpersons of committees meeting in Eldoret, that the foreign policy sessional paper will encompass parliamentary diplomacy.

He sought the support of Parliament in fast-tracking the approval of the policy.

“I want to entice you that when I drop this note, start thinking about how we can entrench parliamentary diplomacy. Through parliamentary diplomacy we can unlock many issues affecting the three arms of government,” Mudavadi said.

“Over the years, the issue of foreign affairs and diplomacy has been treated as an elite club affair and Kenyans are wondering what happens,” he added.

The Prime Cabinet Secretary further called for the Senate’s support in the government’s war on corruption.

He said some national government departments and counties were yet to heed a directive to establish corruption preventive committees to check the vice.

Mudavadi said the Senate was in a better position to debate reports from the committees.

“Unfortunately, some departments have not set up corruption prevention committees. If we are to deal with corruption, the committees should be established in counties,” he said.

He emphasised the need to fight corruption while taming wastage of public resources.

The workshop was officially opened by Mudavadi and was also attended by Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango, Senate Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi, Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, Minority Leader Steward Madzayo, and Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, among others.

Mudavadi lauded the change of parliamentary standing orders to allow Cabinet secretaries to respond to questions on the floor of the House, saying it was promoting accountability.

“We are in a new facet of parliamentary business. The relationship is crucial in implementation of the President’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda.

“The constitutional architecture of Parliament and redefined working relationships has enhanced linkages. The President requested Parliament to allow CSs to respond to questions in the plenary, and the engagements improved unlike when we were engaging at the House committee level,” he said.

Mudavadi also asked senators to support efforts by county governments to mitigate destruction caused by the heavy rains across the country.